The U.S. Postal Service office at the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center closed on Aug. 1. Officials from UA Student Unions said that they were forced to close the office because Student Unions no longer has the means to support it.
A sign now hangs on the mailbox outside of the office stating its closure and redirecting customers to the Sun Station Post Office located at 2100 E. Speedway Blvd.
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“The Contract Postal Unit (USPS) in the Student Union Memorial Center has permanently closed as of August 1, 2020,” said Neysha Aguilar, marketing and communications manager for the UA Student Unions in an email.
Mari John, assistant director for retail development, contract management and corporate sponsorship of the UA Student Unions, said that the closure of the post office was a result of “financial distress.”
“Due to the current pandemic and these unprecedented times, the Student Unions, like many other departments and units across campus, is under severe financial distress," John said. "As a result, we have had to make some very difficult decisions, which include the closure of Student Union operations like the post office. We wish there was another option or path forward, but we simply do not have the revenue or means to retain the post office location."
Maryan Hassan, administrative vice president of the Associated Students of the UA, explained via email how the closure makes essential postal services less accessible for students who rely on them.
“It’s quite unfortunate that the United States Postal Services (USPS) office in the Student Union has been closed," Hassan said. "The mailing service is not only an institution that allowed students to deliver and receive mail but to also stay connected with people as they are away in college. Although there many postal services available across Tucson, the problem is about accessibility. The fact that USPS office was located at the University and in a common building frequently visited by students, it was easy access for students to have their mailing services needs met."
Hassan said USPS closing creates more stress for students without access to transportation.
"I just hope that the loss of the USPS office is replaced with another essential and support service for students instead of something that is unasked for and does not center student needs or interests,” Hassan said in an email.
The seemingly sudden closure leaves questions about where students who relied on its services will now turn. The Instagram account which posted the photo of the closure sign, @wondermakesus, shared their concerns about how the closure will both impact students financially and make it more difficult for them to vote using mail-in ballots.
“At this point, closing a post office is the equivalent to closing a polling station. … Closing a small post office means that many community members and local businesses that rely on its services will have to go elsewhere, and unfortunately now the university only provides options for mailing packages through private companies like FedEx, which end up costing students more money," said the account owner, who wished to remain anonymous. "The university community needs to realize that these decisions are being made with no community input, which is eroding the values of the community in favor of corporate values.”
There is no word yet on what will replace the USPS office space at the student union.
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